Thames Valley Police is appealing for witnesses or information following a robbery in Reading last Tuesday (7/3).
At around 3.30pm, the victim, a woman in her fifties, was near to the cash machines outside Tesco on Portman Road when a machine started bleeping, asking if the user wanted to continue with the transaction.
The machine had no-one stood by it so the woman went to cancel the transaction in order to hand the card into security. As she did this, she was approached from behind by an unknown woman who questioned why she had just done this.
A verbal altercation took place and both women walked on the pedestrian area towards the Oxford Road. The offender then grabbed the victim around her neck with both hands and assaulted her.
A man then approached both women and started shouting at the victim, before stealing her purse and removing cash from it.
A female witness shouted at the offenders to give the purse back but they didn’t, and another member of the public then took the purse from the male offender and returned it to the victim.
The victim was not injured.
The offenders are described as a white man and woman. The woman is believed to be in her forties, 5ft, slim, with long black hair tied back in a ponytail. She was wearing red-framed glasses, a white zip-up hooded top with the hood down, light blue skinny jeans and black trainers. She was also wearing a black handbag across her body.
The man was also believed to be in his forties, 5ft and slim. He was described as wearing a black coat, a blue baseball cap with a hood over it and dark-coloured trousers. He was also wearing a backpack.
Investigating officer, PC Kimberley Wright from Reading Local CID, said: “This incident took place at a busy time of day and we believe there would have been a number of witnesses.
"We would like to speak to anyone who witnessed this incident or who may be able to assist with the investigation.
“If you have any information, please call the 24-hour Thames Valley Police enquiry centre on 101, quoting incident number 43170067661.”
Alternatively, you can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111. No personal details are taken, information is not traced or recorded and you will not go to court.
Message sent by
Liz Herbert (Police, NHW & Community Messaging Co-ordinator, Reading LPA)